#PRODUCTWATCH: 2019 HONDA PILOT TOURING
Some cars leave a deeper imprint on your heart than others and while it’s been a while since we’ve previewed a Honda Pilot, reuniting with it was like catching-up with a dear friend allover again this past week. Times have been tough. Those of you who follow me on Social Media know that my mom broke her leg last week amidst the ice and snow pile that blanketed Southern Ontario. It has been stressful figuring out accommodations for her and it hit particularly hard that she would be in the hospital this Chinese New Year instead of home. My dad, now well into his 80s, has been stressed also. Above this, I found out that Billy’s Lymphoma has returned. Hence while my test drive of the Pilot was originally intended to attend my niece and future nephew-in-law’s engagement party out near Niagara Falls, it wound-up serving another purpose. Being there for my family when they needed me most.
While I love the strength and security the Pilot gives me, especially in these unpredictable road conditions, I always have found it a bit excessive for my needs as a bachelor with a dog. This is not to say it isn’t perfect for a young family, of which many of my Readers now have or are starting. In fact, my friend Jennifer, a mother of two after seeing me post about the Pilot, asked me what I thought about it as she was considering it for her family. I had nothing but raves for her. With an optional three rows of seats which would work for her – I drove with two – the Pilot empowers you to be there for your friends and family, seating up to eight. You should see how spacious its trunk is! Mini-Van practicality, SUV style and sensibility.
It boasts a 3.5L engine, 24 valve, Direct Injection, SOHC, i-VTEC V6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management and a nine-speed Automatic Transmission with Grade Logic Control. The Pilot is all about power, dominance and being in control of the road. I’ll never forget picking-up some Roast Pork on Chinese New Year’s Eve and the owner seeing me drive-up asked me what I did for a living to drive a car like that. “Lawyer? Businessman?” , he inquired as he chopped the pork into bite size pieces on his wooden board. The Pilot is about status and prestige and I felt elevated in it, and not just physically!
With a combined 11L per 100 km fuel economy, I honesty was expecting the car to be a gas guzzler but it wasn’t, thanks to its amazing ECON mode option. I had to drive twice this week out to the country in Milton to see historic Sam-Son Farm‘s first foal of 2019 one day and also celebrate sweet Princess’ fifth birthday the next day in Caledon. This, plus also trekking downtown and back to the suburbs twice in a week, totaled just $60, thank you also in due part to low gas prices!
Let’s talk about its opulence. While I speak of power and performance, the Pilot is undeniably stylish. I previewed it in a luxuriant White Diamond Pearl, feeling like royalty in its perforated leather-surface seats (steering wheel too!) with heating and cooling, and was in awe at the climate control options for the passengers at the back too. We love that Honda recognizes the needs of the passenger too, making it a hit for everyone. They even get a 10-inch WSVGA screen to view Blu-rays and media streaming apps. And headphones too! Jealous!
Its audio system is comprised of a flashy 600-watt, 11- speaker and 5.1 Surround Sound capability. The world is at your fingertips with the Pilot’s 7-inch touchscreen display, letting you navigate the roads, your listening experience and whatever menu needs you have.
Connecting through Bluetooth to my Spotify playlists was a cinch and of course it it was Sirius XM-enabled, making it tricky for me to get out of the car at times. Not a bad problem to have!
We love that it has auto headlights so we never have to fuss when driving, our line of vision always being clear. And of course we adore the moonroof, which we wished we could’ve enjoyed under better weather than what we’ve had this past week. Driver’s Seat Position Memory and Proximity Key Entry (we loathe fumbling for our keys!) make our lives that much easier, with one less thing to worry about. Ambient blue lighting can be found within the car, with cupholders lit in the dark. A large storage under armrest is super-convenient, while wireless charging and tons of USB ports are very today in terms of needs to stay connected.
I have never felt safer in any offering from the Honda family than in the Pilot, and considering the Carmaker’s reputation for safety, this is extremely high-praise. Its Forward Collision System, Collision Mitigating System, Lane Departure System, Four-Wheel Anti-Locking Brake System, Road Departure Mitigation System, Advanced Front Airbag System, SmartVent Side Airbags and three-row Side-Curtain Airbags serve their purpose and beyond. Rear-view camera aids in perfect parking no matter what the conditions, even with dirt and slush caked onto it.
While the Honda Pilot won’t solve all my problems in life, it certainly was an honourable sidekick this past week, transporting my dad to visit my mom daily safe and warm. It got me to work without a hitch, hassle-free even in the worst road conditions. And while this might be my last Chinese New Year with Billy, I made it memorable, sneaking into the mall with him to get his favourite Hong Kong Style Egg Waffles. And I got a moment to escape in style to the countryside to visit the horses, letting me forget about my worries for bit. These are things I’ll never forget and memories that are irreplaceable.
The 2019 HONDA TOURING starts at $52,490 CAN. More here.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)